john and rachel at the casino [ri wedding]

a couple weekends ago i had the privilege to shoot a wedding of friends of mine, john and rachel. they got married at the roger williams casino on a saturday in february. following suit with the rest of this weird, near snowless, oddly warm winter in new england, the temperature and sun made the day feel more like april.

the day started at two o'clock in the guts of the casino, down by the kitchen area where there is a room for brides and their bridesmaids to get ready. it's a little weird to send the soon-to-be bride through the hallways of the basement to dodge the silver trays being whisked around by the catering company, but it's the only way to get to and from the 'getting ready' room.

then plan was to do the formal shots before the ceremony to take advantage of the fleeting february daylight. part of the photos included a 'reveal' since john was going to see rachel before the ceremony. we took a three minute ride from the casino over to the botanical gardens and felt like we had transported to the rain forest. it was so hot and humid i was surprised it didn't start raining in that building. i scoped out a spot to use for rachel to come around and for john to see her wearing the dress. i shot over her shoulder as john turned around, hoping to capture his love-stricken face when he saw his almost-wife. hopefully he noticed her before he noticed me. i was, after all, wearing a very nice tie.

the bridal party were very gracious to accommodate me in the short amount of time we had to do photos. we did a speed session at the gardens and then piled back into our caravan and headed to the temple to music, which is a giant stone structure right near the water. an employee at the casino advised me not to go there for pictures, saying they wouldn't come out good and referencing a photo on the wall from a past wedding. that made me want to go there so much more. they should replace the picture on their wall with this one:

the reception was upstairs in the casino, complete with live jazz band which supplied the perfect soundtrack for the environment. stand-up bass, saxophone, electric guitar, and drums carried the night with some occasional female vocals. this was my second wedding at the casino and both of them had live bands. i don't think it would be right to have a wedding there without one.

for you dessert lovers and rhode islanders, you would have swooned at the (very) long table saturated with every kind of cake imaginable from federal hill's pastiche. in addition to that was a bunch of candy, biscotti, and, although not edible, an old typewriter that served as a cool guest book.

best of luck to john and rachel in their new married life, and thanks for having me be a part of your wedding...

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